Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hope for Kurdish Freedom Movement in 'Kurds for Labour'?

The Labour Party launched a new group in Westminster last night, 'Kurds for Labour'.

At a time when the Kurdish Freedom Struggle in Turkey needs support, more than ever in the diplomatic field, is 'Kurds for Labour' going to offer that help and support?
It maybe too early to tell but if the launch was anything to go by......... it's doubtful.
Of the total amount of people who turned up for the launch only a handful were Kurds from Turkey, the overwhelming majority being Kurds from South Kurdistan.
The speeches all spoke about 'Kurdistan' and Northern Iraq and one Kurdish councillor from NW Kurdistan had to remind the audience and Labour members, that there were also Kurds in Turkey!
The biggest high profile Labour Party member that made an appearance was Harriet Harman the rest being MP's with large Kurdish constituencies.
If the Kurdish Freedom Movement is to benefit from Kurds for Labour then Kurdish activists are going to have to face the issues and raise them within the Labour Party and not be afraid to challenge the labels placed on the Kurdish Movement of 'terrorist' and to campaign to lift the criminalisation of the Kurds in the UK who campaign for Kurdish rights in Turkey.
And if the Labour Party are to benefit, electorally, in anyway from the wider Kurdish community in the UK, Kurdish people have to see that the Labour Party do not just want the inclusion of Kurds from Turkey in the party for their own electoral benefit but must make clear that they understand the situation of the Kurds in Turkey who face serious persecution and 'criminalisation' for campaigning for basic political and human rights and are prepared to say it openly and campaign against it!
A denial policy from Kurds for Labour and the continuation of the criminalisation of the Kurdish Freedom Movement by Labour will not gain the support of the Kurdish Community and do nothing to help the Kurds in Turkey to struggle for basic human and political rights.
What is needed is a strong principled campaign to raise support and awareness about the legitimate Freedom Struggle of the Kurds in Turkey.

I hope that Kurds for Labour will be part of that!